Gunn athletes dispel harmful sports stereotypes

Julia Cheunkarndee

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Sports stereotypes, while rarely given much thought or consideration, are still widespread. These biases in athletics may range from gender to race, and they oftentimes create a negative and narrow-minded climate around the sports environment that may impact both players’ self-esteems and their athletic performance. As a result, much work needs to be done to reduce the prevalence of stereotypes in sports today.  

Societal norms have shaped the distribution of men and women in sports. For example, a study conducted by Chepyator-Thomson and Ennis in 1997 found that boys tend to avoid “feminine” sports with an emphasis on grace and aesthetic, such as aerobics, while girls shy away from male-dominated sports that are focused on strength and force, such as football. The stigma towards men and women playing in sports commonly associated with the opposite sex is rooted in sexism and outdated concepts of masculinity. In all, we should be more mindful of our perception of athletics and create a more respectful environment for sports.